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by Calthor, taken from The GLN issue 9
In general, races in the world of Blood Bowl don't mix well. Dark elves enjoy assassinating high elves, orcs are asocial greenskins and even humans think halflings are just too weak to play with. In other words, racial purity is the standard on the pitch. There are of course always exceptions. Ogres play with the smallest of races. It is still nothing like the newest team to hit FUMBBL though. As three new teams hit FUMBBL along with the introduction of the new client, we also see a team that combines two seemingly entire different races: skaven and goblins. So, what is it that combines the two? Warpstone, baby, precious warpstone!
The Underworld Creepers consist of both skaven and goblins. The two share a love of the underground life, but that is normally not enough to make them allies. Warpstone bridges the gap between the two races. The Underworld Creepers have more access to warpstone than the Skaven team itself, allowing for some insane development choices. These goblins and skaven have their homes close to a warpstone motherlode and the consequence is that they share enough of a common identity to face the pitch together. They sleep between the warpstone, bathe in warpstone, eat warpstone, even mate between then warpstone. And while the warpstone hasn't made all of their differences go away, it is enough to make for a stable team.
So, why would any coach even want to consider leading an Underworld Creepers team to glory? At first sight, the team has the disadvantages of both goblins and skaven without the perks. Would you want to coach goblins with only one troll and no secret weapons? Would you want to coach skaven without their famous runners? In addition, the team does not interact all too well due to animosity. There is bound to be a moment in your coaching carreer when the ball needs to go to a goblin for a last-turn score and the darned rat refuses to give up the ball. Worst of all, the team is incredibly fragile and not all that evasive. It's enough to make any coach go insane.
No, this team is not one for the faint of heart. However, you should not underestimate a well-run Underworld Creepers team. Truth is, around TV 100 the team is really not all that special. The Underworld Creepers start to shine after a bit of development, due to their easy Mutation access. Of course, there are other teams with Mutation access like that, such as Chaos and Nurgles Rotters. They lack however, the dynamics of the Underworld Creepers team. Mutation access on goblins and skaven opens up a lot of doors which allow for intriguing play. A skaven blitzer with horns and strip ball will get a ball loose easily enough, possibly with two-heads for optimal dodging. A two-headed goblin with a big hand will be able to pick up a loose ball under extreme circumstances and get it out. Then a player with extra arms and foul appearance or two heads will run off with it. At higher TV, Underworld Creepers can pull off surprising stunts. Best of all though, is that they have an invaluable big guy. The Warpstone Troll has easy mutation access, so assuming that you do not roll a double you will still quickly have a monstrous troll with tentacles, claw and foul appearance. The Warpstone Troll is still fairly cheap too under the new Big Guy pricing rules, making them a must for the team.
So, how does an Underworld Creepers coach lead his team to glory? Fact is, the first couple of games are going to be hard no matter what. Blitz strategically with your blitzers, put your troll in front of as many of the opposing players as possible and keep your goblins away from the opponent. Foul consistently to try and keep the number of players equal or under your number of players â€” any exchange of players is generally in your favour, as you have got a lot of cheap players. Remember, there is no eye of the referee anymore, so every foul is as risky as any other, which suits this foul-happy team just fine.
At higher TV, your players will start to fill different roles. Your skaven blitzers will be essential for bringing down the necessary opposition and stealing the ball. Guard, Strip Ball, Tackle, Horns and Claw are all good choices. You will have special goblins to come in and put the boot in, with Sneaky Git, Claw and Dirty Player on doubles. There will be goblins to take the ball under extreme circumstances, something only the Underworld Creepers team is that good at, thanks to Big Hand and Two Heads. A running goblin with Extra Arms, Two Heads and Foul Appearance is also a good choice. In the back - as a safety against speedy elves - you might have a goblin or two with skills like Diving Tackle, Horns, Claws and Prehensile Tail to disturb the fast players if anything might go wrong. And remember, if all things go wrong, there is always a chance that your Warpstone Troll won't eat the goblin you decide to throw as a last-ditch effort. So, give the Underworld Creepers a try! To be sure, they are a fascinating team. They are a lower tiered team that actually starts working better at higher TV, as long as you can manage to keep the team in one piece. To do that, remember that your blitzers and Warpstone Troll are invaluable, but still easily replaceable. This is a team that can work surprisingly well and effective at times, thanks to odd players. It is also a team that falls apart way too easily. So, laugh it off when your skaven refuse to give the ball to the goblins, eat some warpstone and enjoy the ride! And for Nuffle's sake, try to keep as many players on the pitch as you can...